Friday, November 20, 2009

"It may only be four walls and a couple of nail kegs, but it will always be home to me."



Muriel Blandings: I refuse to endanger the lives of my children in a house with less than four bathrooms.
Jim: For 1,300 dollars they can live in a house with three bathrooms and ROUGH IT.

The Siren is changing lodgings this weekend and thus will be offline until la famille Campaspe gets its house in order and its modem modem-ing--Wednesday, say. Meanwhile, consider this an open thread, the first in Self-Styled Siren history. Play nice and have fun.

45 comments:

Greg said...

I have no idea what to say, I just wanted to be the first. Hello everybody, it's me, Greg.

Is anyone else excited that Luise Rainer will be 100 in less than two months and be around to celebrate it? 'Cause I am!

Greg said...

Oh, and good luck with the move. Sorry. Where are my manners?

Operator_99 said...

Good luck with the move and hope your new digs exceed your expectations. I trust you now will finally have a screening room with tiered theater seating and a wine bar.

X. Trapnel said...

Siren, best of luck with the move and hope you are well supplied with beasts of burden. I've been doing house reconstruction/moving for some months now living amidst something like Xanadu inventory.

One room has been consecrated as a temple of cinema.

That Little Round-Headed Boy said...

I don't envy your move. Good luck. And remember: If it ain't Wham, it ain't ham.

Vanwall said...

Congrats, Siren, sounds like fun! Not. It always rains when I move, good luck and stay dry.

And say, didn't I warn you about it being a Blandings thing - speak not the divil's name.

Gloria said...

Mi late mother used lo like ths film quite a lot: she would roar with laughter at the episode of how Myrna Loy seized the occasion of changing a tile, with expensive results due to the bureaucratic frame of mind of the masons.

This is the kind of film which rings bells to any human being in the orbs (as everyone has changed digs at least once). However, what had me cracking was the slogan "A whale of a ham!"... Grant, BTW, seemed to have been born to play ad-men: he did so to perfection here and in "North By Northwest" (not to mention a sixties parody in Mad magazine)

RocM said...

Siren, congrats on the new digs.

Folks, hello.

how's that?

Trish said...

If I recall, the Blanding house cost $13,000 to build? Times were extremely good in 1948, but four bathrooms is a bit much. She DID get her flower sink, though, didn't she?

Here's hoping Siren and family find their new home equally bucolic....

Karen said...

Gosh, Siren--one lousy open thread and the 5th comment's porn spam? That ain't right!

Best of luck with the move--always a brutal and stressful experience--and don't worry about us. Mostly.

I screened Diva< for my 11-year-old diva nephew this morning. It was a big hit.

Trish said...

And good morning.

Has anyone seen "Shockproof" with Cornell Wilde?

Yojimboen said...

Reminder re our recent discussion: Paddy Chayevsky’s Middle of the Night is scheduled on TCM tomorrow, Sunday 22nd Nov at 12 noon.

Et bon déménage a la famille Sirène!

DavidEhrenstein said...

For your 11 year-old nephew. . .

"Ebben? Ne andro lontana" was a favorite of Maria Callas. Toscanini named his daughter "Wally" after this opera.

This aria has turned up again in Tom Ford's superb film of Isherwood's A Single Man

DavidEhrenstein said...

Yes I've seen Shockproof. It's excellent. An early Sirk with a screenplay by (wait for it!) --- Samuel Fuller.

It was the subject of a series of paintings by the great British Pop Art inventor Richard Hamilton.

DavidEhrenstein said...

Here's one of Hamilton's studies of Patricia Knight, derived from Shockproof.

Arthur S. said...

Since this thread is open, i feel no guilt promoting my blog and it's latest post. A recent Woody Allen film that hopefully some of you have seen.

http://thispigsalley.blogspot.com/2009/11/cassandras-dream-2007-woody-allen.html

Best of luck to The Siren and the Mr! May their new place have the best internet service!

X. Trapnel said...

Richard Hamilton's masterpiece is "Just What is it that Makes Today's Homes So Different, So Appealing."

Hope your's is likewise, Siren.

Tonio Kruger said...

Wow! I actually got around to seeing this movie this week. Though I'm embarrassed to admit that after having it in my Netflix queue for months, I finally broke down and rented the DVD from a local library.

Good luck with the move, Campaspe. I hope you bought your new residence with both your heart and your head...

Trish said...

Re: Shockproof - the movie is at its best when they become fugitives, and Patricia Knight becomes very philosophical and guilt-ridden. I definitely do not like that silly ending. It's unworthy of the rest of the film.

Richard Hamilton is fab! I didn't realize he did Shockproof paintings, although I know his most famous work. Isn't it nice when a discussion of a good movie leads to a discussion of fine art???

Yojimboen said...

Shockproof was once deliciously described as:
“…the grime of The Naked Kiss swiped across the surface of Imitation of Life's fine china.”

Fuller’s original script (how do we know it was Fuller’s originally? The main character is named ‘Griff’. Duh!) was almost completely de-balled by Helen Deutsch, who also had the clout to get her name first in the on-screen co-credit. There are few films I remember where one can see as clearly the diving lines between the work of Fuller & Deutsch.

Somewhere along the line Sirk lost control of his normally sure vision. Sad really, what a film this could have been!

The Siren said...

All righty, they are about to pack the computer any minute now. Odd feeling to see your life in boxes. At least the movers are nice. Porn spam is gone now but probably not a good idea to click on any links from suspicious-looking characters, kwim?

And YES Greg, so happy about 100 for my fellow Capricorn Ms Rainer. When January rolls around I will re-run and possibly update my old posts on her. I had very low traffic when I ran those and I have to say I thought they were pretty good. At any rate I had fun writing them and got very, very fond of Luise.

"Mr Blandings" is an incredibly lovable movie and I watch it every time it's on. Grant and Loy could have been as great a team as Powell and Loy, I think. They play beautifully together.

All righty, I'm off. And do go over and check out Glenn Kenny's post about Summer Storm with our pal George Sanders, which is finally out on DVD, at Some Came Running.

The Siren said...

And many, many thanks for all the well-wishes -- when you are changing digs in NYC you need those, every last one.

Yojimboen said...

Correction to my last comment:

Not ‘diving’; ‘dividing’.

(Story of my life, the missing id.)

Karen said...

David, thanks for the Diva clip! I love that first view of WWF, who is so beautiful.

I had to do some judicious explaining and deflecting--I'd forgotten about the scene where young Jules takes the stolen gown to an Avenue Foch prostitute--but Gabriel was completely entranced. It's such a stylish, stylized film, and very much a product of its time.

Trish said...

Very sad indeed, Yojimboen.

As soon as I saw the credit "Helen Deutsch" followed by Sam Fuller, I knew there was a problem. Kudos to Cornell Wilde and Patricia Knight, for trying to maintain a conflicted mood throughout.

X. Trapnel said...

Dunno, Y. I sometimes get the sense that your id is where your superego should be, especially when it comes to certain actresses...

Donna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donna said...

Good luck on the move and don't forget to take care with the paint.

Muriel Blandings:
I want it to be a soft green, not as blue-green as a robin's egg, but not as yellow-green as daffodil buds. Now, the only sample I could get is a little too yellow, but don't let whoever does it go to the other extreme and get it too blue. It should just be a sort of grayish-yellow-green. Now, the dining room. I'd like yellow. Not just yellow; a very gay yellow. Something bright and sunshine-y. I tell you, Mr. PeDelford, if you'll send one of your men to the grocer for a pound of their best butter, and match that exactly, you can't go wrong! Now, this is the paper we're going to use in the hall. It's flowered, but I don't want the ceiling to match any of the colors of the flowers. There's some little dots in the background, and it's these dots I want you to match. Not the little greenish dot near the hollyhock leaf, but the little bluish dot between the rosebud and the delphinium blossom. Is that clear? Now the kitchen is to be white. Not a cold, antiseptic hospital white. A little warmer, but still, not to suggest any other color but white. Now for the powder room - in here - I want you to match this thread, and don't lose it. It's the only spool I have and I had an awful time finding it! As you can see, it's practically an apple red. Somewhere between a healthy winesap and an unripened Jonathan. Oh, excuse me...

Mr. PeDelford: You got that Charlie?

Charlie, Painter: Red, green, blue, yellow, white.

Mr. PeDelford: Check.

DavidEhrenstein said...

Arather large footnote in my pice Desert Fury Mon Amour (which can be found in "Film Quarterly: 40 Years -- A Selection") deals with Sirk, Shockproof and Richard Hamilton.

sunday mornings said...

Good luck with your move! Are you still staying in Brooklyn or moving camp elsewhere? I've lived in my current apartment for a year now and let me just say - there are STILL boxes that have not been unpacked. OH WELL. The computer is all that matters, right?

LOVE Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. You're right, Grant and Loy would've made just as amazing a starring duo as Powell-Loy. I remember seeing the two together in The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer - also a very grown up and beautiful Shirley Temple - and distinctly recall adoring that one too.

Have not seen Shockproof...I guess I'm not as with it as the rest of you. :-/

Peter Nellhaus said...

Siren: When you get ready to resume watching films from beyond English speaking countries, you might enjoy the Japanese comedy, All about Our House, about a youngish couple building their dream house.

Yojimboen said...

I don't like it.
It's too quiet.

X. Trapnel said...

Yeah, I'll stay here and guard the camp.

Flickhead said...

Donna's looking good with three fours.

David's got a possible flush.

Peter, well, I don't know what he's got going on over there.

Yojimboen's got Queens over tens.

X.Trapnel's working on a kangaroo straight.

And I'm wondering why I'm staying in this hand. Donna: your bet.

Yojimboen said...

Lest we all start hyperventilating in panic at our missing den mother, here’s a game: Who do you miss the most?

Who, among the hundreds of actors/actresses from the thousands of movies we have all seen do you miss the most; that special one who, if he/she were still around, would bring immeasurable joy to see one last time?

Me? Easy. Marcel Dalio.
You?

Trish said...

Love your blog, sunday mornings! What could be more glorious than a discussion of film and fashion?

Trish said...

Robert Ryan

Vanwall said...

You guys sweat too much for Injun Poker, the cards keep falling off your foreheads.

You should join me in Siren's private theater - Talisker and a good petit syrah, Stags' Leap, is on the bar, with walnettos, or hot buttered popcorn from the cart that are free for the asking - and her secret stash of "Lost-to-everyone-else" films is running, starting with "Rolled Stockings", then the complete "Greed", with out-takes. Suggestions welcome, at least until she gets back and shoos as all out - the kids are asleep. Requests taken in writing only, the full orchestra is a bit loud to yell them. And down in front! Dammit!

Vanwall said...

Oooh, a game without pasteboards stuck on my face - I say Louise Brooks and John Garfield.

DavidEhrenstein said...

Dirk Bogarde.

X. Trapnel said...

So many to choose from, but I think I'm with Trish on this: Robert Ryan

Y, wouldn't you agree that Hollywood tamed Dalio in making him so subservient to Bogie? I always find that "Now, don't kiss me, Frenchy" "Oh, no, no, no" bit in To Have and Have Not a little embarassing.

Frenchy; Gevalt.

X. Trapnel said...

V, how 'bout the 185 minute Mme de?

(For anyone in the Metuchen, NJ area I'm doing the Chaim Robert Osborne-style introduction for a showing of Madame de... this Fri [discussion to follow]).

Yojimboen said...

M VW – Gad, sir, such prevarication! I thought I was the only person in the world with complete copies of Rolled Stockings; Greed; Ambersons & 4 Devils!

X? Dalio worked with Humphrey B only three times out of a filmography of 176 titles. (I am shocked, shocked he is mostly known for those measly roles!)

No one waved a dismissive hand as airily as Marcel. “It’s all in the wrist…”

X. Trapnel said...

Looking over the Dalio filmography, I was wondering whether anyone was familiar with an enticing item called Paris After Dark, 1943 Resistance picture with George Sanders and Madeleine LeBeau (Mme. Dalio at the time [O lucky man]). Know anything Y?

Also Sombre Dimanche which appears to use the same Reszo Seress song that the 1999 Gloomy Sunday was built around.

Dalio was also in two of my sought after films: The Constant Nymph and The Happy Time.

Yojimboen said...

Sorry, XT, no immediate line on Paris After Dark or The Happy Time - I'll keep looking.